💡 Ideation

Develop ideas for new projects and programs.

Target Size: Up to 75 people | Attributes: Creative, Participatory, Generative | Shorthand: “I want to come up with new ideas.”

  • Your first idea might not be your best idea. Iteration is key to idea development. Oftentimes, you need to develop many ideas before landing on one that’s worth further refinement.

  • Diverse opinions can lead to breakthroughs. You don’t know what you don’t know. Sometimes it can help to invite other people into your ideation process — especially people with different expertise and opinions than you.

  • Be willing to share. We are often keen to keep our ideas to ourselves for fear of someone stealing them, which can happen. However, our experience suggests that discussing ideas openly is far superior to toiling by your lonesome.

  • Quietstorming works. Brainstorming in groups only works some of the time. However, quietstorming first — brainstorming quietly by yourself — then sharing your ideas with others is often a more effective strategy.

Process Checklist
  • Identify an opportunity
  • Develop a facilitation plan
  • Gather a group of would-be collaborators
  • Spend time iterating on ideas
  • Select the most promising few
  • Determine next steps
  • Make it happen

Related Experiences: Planning, Kick-off, Knowledge-Sharing

Related Techniques: Affinity Clustering, Bullseye, Co-Creation Session, Concept Posters, Creative Matrix, Dot Voting, Experience Diagramming, Four Corners, History/Future Mapping, I wish, I wonder, Ignite Talks, Impact/Effort Matrix, POEMS, Personas, Pre-Mortem, Quietstorming, Rose Thorn Bud, Round Robin, Stakeholder Mapping, Statement Starters, Trading Cards, Tuning Protocol, What? So What? Now What?, World Cafe

Example & Artifacts

In support of a new grantmaking program, Sprout hosted the Idea Round Up, a day-long event to introduce people to the opportunity, engage them in ideation activities, and get them started on applications. The event was also a chance to meet potential collaborators.